July 19th, is the seventeenth of Tammuz, which is a fast day that ushers
in a three-week mourning period. When the Babylonians attacked
Yerushalayim, eventually resulting in the destruction of the Temple and
the exile of the Jewish people, the Wall of Yerushalayim was breached on
the seventeenth of Tammuz. Three weeks later, on the ninth of Av, the
Temple was destroyed.
in Torah is a teaching and a directive both in the service of Hashem and
in our private lives. When we correct the breach in the wall of
Yerushalayim in our own lives, we cause Hashem to rebuild Yerushalayim.
The word Yerushalayim in Hebrew is a composite of two words: Yirah,
which means fear, and Shalem, which means complete. Our personal
Yerushalayim represents our awe and fear of G-d. Fear of G-d is not only
that the fear He can punish us. When we realize that our greatest asset
is our bond with G-d, and that the strength of that bond is dependent
upon keeping his commandments, we fear damaging that bond. Shame is a
form of fear. When we are feel ashamed for disrespecting G-d by doing a
sin, it is part of Yirah.
surrounding Yerushalayim represent the steps we take to avoid doing
things against the will of Hashem. When we are afraid of something being
damaged, we take steps to protect it. Our love and fear of G-d dictate
that we not only carefully keep his commandments, but that we also take
steps to prevent mistakes. This is the reason for most Rabbinical
ordinances. Similarly, in our private lives, the wall of Yerushalayim
represents the steps we take to protect our meaningful relationships. If
we know an act might hurt someone we love, we prevent it at all cost.
The Seventeenth of Tammuz is a time when we reexamine our fences, making
sure to fortify that which is truly important.
Yeshaiah (Isaiah) related, “Zion will be redeemed through justice and
her captives through charity.” Justice in this verse refers to the study
of Torah. In these three weeks while we mourn the destruction of the
Temple and pray fervently for it’s rebuilding, it is customary to study
extra Torah and add in acts of charity. It is especially desirable to
study the laws of the construction of the Temple. This year, as Israel
is under siege, these directives are even more imperative in order to
beseech Hashem’s protection for those who live throughout Israel, and
the Jewish people throughout the entire world. The prophet describes the
wall of Yerushalayim in the times of Moshiach as a wall of fire. When we
serve Hashem with warmth, light and intensity it protects us from
mistakes. When we lack warmth, the wall can be breached.
Interestingly, the number 17 is the equivalent of the word Tov, which
means good. This is because underlying the destruction are the seeds for
an even greater future. When Moshiach will come, the world will be in a
higher and more perfect state than the time of the Temple. Way we merit
seeing that time now!
wishing you an easy and meaningful fast,
memory of Leiby Ben Nachman Kletzky. May Hashem grant perfect rest to
his pure soul and give strength and comfort to his parents and all who
mourn this tragedy. May Hashem free us from all tragedies and send the
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